Poverty and low income have both been found to increase the risk of loneliness and social isolation. A Dutch study ( Hortulanus, Machielse & Meeuwesen Social Isolation in Modern Society 2006) of religiosity in people who are lonely found that people living on low incomes were twice as likely to be lonely and six times more likely to be socially isolated. A similar Australian study (published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing by Lauder and Sharkey in 2006) reached the conclusion that people who earned less than $600 per week were significantly lonelier than those earning more than $1,000 per week. Interestingly enough the Australian study also found unemployment to be one of the strongest predictors of loneliness.
It just seems so obvious that low-income seniors in Canada face an increased risk of becoming socially isolated. No employment and limited finances combine to marginalize this group of people. We are right to concentrate our efforts to embrace and assist in any way we can to create community.
Jesus calls us to especially be mindful of the poor.
Today I am tired of helping others. I want to just enjoy my prosperity and health and sit amongst my 'stuff'. Instead my ears hear the call of the needy. The Holy Spirit whispers and also helps me.
O Lord help me not to turn away from you call to care for those who have only a little while I have been given so much. Give me a spirit of generosity and joy.